17 Dec 2008

New Zealander in PNG says getting food to affected areas is a challenge

11:14 am on 17 December 2008

A New Zealander who is now in Papua New Guinea to help with flood relief says getting food to the affected areas will be a challenge.

The floods, caused by massive sea swells late last week, have left up to 30-thousand people homeless.

Shane Bayley from the Palmerston North Regional Council left New Zealand yesterday to join a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team in PNG.

Mr Bayley says a major part of the mission will be making sure the food gets where it's needed.

"Trying to find a ways around in things like port facilities that have been damaged and finding other way of getting resources in there, and also with a lot of the food gardens in the coastal villages having been destroyed and that is there local supply of food, so sourcing and ensuring a means of distribution of food supply."

Shane Bayley from the Palmerston North Regional Council.

The government will contribute nearly 170-thousand US dollars in assistance through NZAID.